By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
Alexandra Marin drilled a 35-yard goal in the first half and the University of Hawaii at Hilo held on to defeat Fresno Pacific 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The Pacific West Conference women’s soccer match was played at Amauulu Field.
In the men’s game, the Sunbirds edged UHH 2-1 in double overtime.
Marin, a 5-foot-8 junior mid-fielder from Redondo Beach, Calif., scored her unassisted goal at the 9:27 mark and it remained the match’s only score in a defensive battle.
“Alex’s shot was miraculous,” said Lance Thompson, the UHH Director of Soccer who coaches both the Vulcan women’s and men’s squads.
“She just went for it, and it went in.”
The Vulcans improved to 6-3-1 overall and 3-3 in the PacWest. Fresno Pacific slipped to 4-4 and 2-2, respectively.
Thompson called the victory “a solid win” and praised his team’s defense.
“It feels good to be home again, coming off the long roadtrip,” the UHH coach said. “But this was an evenly played match today and we got the break this time. Both teams are similar and if we played 10 times, we’d probably tie eight times and each one of the teams would win a game.”
Freshman goalie Jenna Hufford was strong in the net again, not allowing a goal and recording a save. It was her third shutout of the season.
Fresno Pacific goalie Sarah King also went the full 90 minutes while giving up the solo goal to go along with three saves.
UHH’s James Yamane and Sunbird Eddie Cabral each had a first half goal as the teams battled into the second OT befopre Jorge Chedraui’s goal won it for the visitors.
Vulcan goalie Yonha Andrabi allowed both goals and had six saves.
Fresno Pacific improved to 7-2-1 overall and 5-0 in the PacWest. The Vuls fell to 3-5-1 and 1-4-1, respectively.
The UHH teams host Notre Dame de Namur in PacWest matches on Monday at Amauulu Field.
The women battle at 12:30 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.